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A Splash of Colour: Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II 

A Splash of Colour: Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II 


After presenting the colourful DEFY 21 Chroma Limited Edition at LVMH Watch Week last year, Zenith has now launched two new limited editions with their own colour concept. Technical precision and chromatic design meet once again in the Zenith Defy 21 Chroma II, which is housed in a black or white ceramic case.

The case

Coming in either micro-blasted black or matte white, the DEFY 21 Chroma II’s ceramic case serves as a canvas for the colourful spectacle displayed on the skeletonised dial and movement. The 44 mm case, with a height of 14.5 mm, is water-resistant to a depth of 100 m. The bezel and crown of both versions match the case in colour, while a rubber ring on the crown adds a blue accent to the white version and a yellow accent to the black one. The pushers for the chronographs go with the black DEFY 21 Chroma II case colour, while Zenith opt for grey on the white version. The radiant movement can be viewed from the front as well as the caseback through the anti-reflective sapphire crystal.

The dial

With its skeletonised dial, Zenith’s DEFY 21 Chroma II displays a broad spectrum of colours as well as the vibrant movement below. However, the colour palette on display depends on the design of the limited edition. For the black version, the various nuances are based on the primary colours. The colour selection for the white version, however, relies on lighter accents with a primary focus on blue hues. Despite their differences, both timepieces showcase a carefully balanced rainbow pattern. 

Chromatic time indication

Each rhodium-plated, faceted hour index is coated in a different coloured lacquer to match the numerals on the 1/100th of a second scale. The hands for the hours, minutes, and chronograph are also rhodium-plated and faceted, with Zenith’s star emblem decorating one end of the chronograph hand . 

In contrast to the central hands with their neutral design, the tips of the regulator hands each bear a different colour. While the 30-minute counter sits at 3 o’clock, the 60-second counter is at 6 o’clock. The small seconds are at 9 o’clock, and the chronograph power reserve indicator is displayed at 12 o’clock. The regulators are black or white, depending on the model’s version. The hands provide an easy-to-read blot of colour through their brightly-coloured tips.

Zenith DEFY 21 Chroma II: The movement

Behind the openworked dial, the automatic El Primero 9004 calibre’s shine through. Each of its bridges are coated with PVD in a different metallic colour. They thereby correspond to the colour gradient of the respective version. In addition, the star-shaped oscillating weight is specially blued and benefits from a satin finish.

High frequency

In 2022, the DEFY 21 Chroma Limited Edition was equipped with the world’s only high-frequency chronograph movement manufactured in a series: the El Primero 9004 calibre, displaying 1/100th of a second. With its two regulating organs and gear train, the movement is now also put to use in the DEFY 21 Chroma II. The system oscillates at a frequency of 5 Hz and has a power reserve of at least 50 hours. True to its name, the chronograph movement beats at a high frequency of 50 Hz (360,000 vibrations per hour). Meanwhile, the chronograph hand achieves one rotation per second. The chronograph’s power reserve lasts approximately 50 minutes and is chronometer certified.

Strap, price, and availability 

A matching black or white rubber strap with a Cordura effect, rainbow-coloured stitching, and a titanium double-folding clasp complements the timepiece. Limited to 500 pieces each, both versions of the DEFY 21 Chroma II can be purchased for 16,800 euros. That said, there is a difference when it comes to availability. Zenith boutiques as well as authorised dealers offer the white version worldwide. However, the timepiece with a black case is only available in Zenith boutiques and the brand’s online boutique.


BRAND Zenith
MODEL Defy 21 Chroma II
REFERENCE Black: 49.9013.9004/21.R952
White: 49.9014.9004/01.R953
CASE MATERIAL Black micro-blasted or matte white ceramic
DIMENSIONS Diameter: 44 mm
Height: 14,5 mm
WATER RESISTANCE 100 m (∼ 100 bar)
DIAL Skeletonised, 1/100-seconds scale
STRAP/BRACELET Black or white rubber strap with Cordura effect and rainbow-coloured stitching, titanium double-folding clasp
MOVEMENT El Primero 9004
POWER RESERVE Watch: min. 50 hours
Chronograph: approx. 50 minutes
FREQUENCY Watch: 36.000 vph (5 Hz)
Chronograph: 360.000 vph (50 Hz)
FUNCTIONS Hours, minutes, small seconds, 1/100-chronograph, 30-minute counter, 60-second counter, chronograph power reserve indicator
PRICE EUR 16,800